Throughout every Superman film that has graced the silver screen, a heavy emphasis is placed upon his physical strength. As an alien who gets his amazing abilities directly from the yellow sun, it is tough to avoid the focus on those abilities, especially when he’s duking it out with the likes of Doomsday or Zod. As humans, however, many times we fight foes that are much more destructive and deadly than The Blue Boyscout’s enemies; battles that Supes himself couldn’t win. In June of 2005, comic book writer Jeph Loeb was one of the many that felt the devastating effects of one such foe when is son, Sam Loeb, succumbed to his battle with cancer at the age of 17. Ten days after his passing, Jeph wrote a very personal story about a young Clark Kent and his brush with the disease. Now, eleven years later, in a fan made film, audiences have a chance to experience the story, and celebrate Sam’s life, in a whole new way.
Of the many times Superman has flown to the box office, only a small portion of time has been dedicated to the emotional strength that the (almost) last Kyrptonian must display, especially as a young man who was first coming into his own. Sure, Smallville did give the alien disguised as Clark Kent a bit more drama and feeling but nothing deeper than an audience may have seen with Brandon Walsh as he dealt with teenage angst in Beverly Hills during the 90’s. In the fan film, “It All Goes Away”, which is based on Sam’s Story, there is no alien threat to be fought; no pending doom on the planet; no red Kryptonite from which to be cured. Instead, it is a boy who knows he can do anything as he faces the one thing he cannot fight: mortality of a friend. Grab a tissue and take a watch.
The film really speaks for itself and there is no doubt that the filmmakers responsible likely had a brush with cancer, whether personally or through a loved one, and truly cared about the subject matter. Well done.
If you want to take a peek at what Sam had to offer before his passing, take a look at some of the old back issues at your local comic book store for Dark Horse’s Tales of the Vampire #5 and DC’s one-shot Superman/Batman #26 (in which 26 of the biggest names in comics came together to complete the story Sam, tragically, could not). You won’t be disappointed by the work but there is no doubt you will be saddened that such a talent was taken so young.
What do you think of the film?